The Voynich Manuscript is the world’s most secretive book. It’s dated to the 15th century and contains an unknown writing system that even renowned cryptographers have never deciphered. Illustrations in the book suggest it may cover topics like herbal remedies, biology, astronomy, and the zodiac, but no one knows for sure what it really is. Source


Encrypted Marauder’s Map
For my cryptology course final I made the Marauder’s Map. I used maze construct theory to design the interior, and the variations of the interior, then scrambled the different versions on folding tabs so that unless they are folded in precisely the correct sequence of left or right the map is confusing and useless. The sequence for reavealing the correct map is the binary code for a hash function of “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good’.

College. Heh.

If you liked Netflix’s Stranger Things, here are some podcasts you might enjoy:
  • Welcome to Night Vale (the community news of a small city in the American Southwest where all conspiracy theories are true and a part of every day life; BONUS - canon interracial gay couple as the main couple)
  • The Message (70-year-old message from outer space, cryptology, things are not as they seem)
  • Limetown (everyone in small town disappears and no one knows what happened to them; follow an intrepid journalist as she investigates)
  • The Black Tapes (sister show to TANIS; demons, investigation into the unexplainable, asshole Alpha Skeptic, and the journalist who tries to sort this all out)
  • TANIS (sister show to The Black Tapes; conspiracy, truth, and the investigation of what Tanis really is, plus an “information specialist” named Meerkatnip)
  • Archive 81 (found footage audio series where nothing is quite as it seems and there’s a building that isn’t exactly right)
  • Alice Isn’t Dead (from the people behind WtNV, a truck driver tries to find her missing wife and she runs into a lot of conspiracies along the way)
  • Within the Wires (again, from the people who brought you WtNV, instructional audio guides that slowly reveal a personal story and the revelation that the world the podcast is set in is that great)
  • The Bright Session (imagine what it would be like if the X-Men went to therapy)
  • The Behemoth (a girl and her monster walk across America)
  • Wolf 359 (the absurd misadventures of a small band of eccentric characters on board the Hephaestus Station in orbit around the dwarf star, Wolf 359, where it’s all fun and games until it’s not and the Blessed Eternal just wants a night light)
learn how to code!

everyone should learn how to code. it’s a lot of fun, its a useful skill in any field, and its a really easy skill to learn if you have a good place to learn it, and in my experience it’s learnt best when its self driven!

notepad++ and atom are really good applications for writing code

i’ll add to this more when i find more links (feel free to send them!), and i’ll probably make posts about the theory behind coding languages, human-computer interactions, and algorithms but i’m sure you can find stuff on academic earth if you look under computer science!


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Everybody else is coming up with new cats for Mutant Atsume. I decided to do something different, and so I came up with possible counterparts for the Neko Atsume food items. Thankfully, I managed to use only one pun.

As always, the idea for Mutant Atsume comes from @suprememeep’s subconscious. The images themselves were made using MS Paint, SAI, and WordPad. For my interpretations of Glunkus and Hobo, see here.

Three Problems with Deciphering the Indus Script
  1. no firm information is available about its underlying language. Was this an ancestor of Sanskrit or Dravidian, or of some other Indian language family, such as Munda, or was it a language that has disappeared? Linear B was deciphered because the tablets turned out to be in an archaic form of Greek; Mayan glyphs because Mayan languages are still spoken.
  2. no names of Indus rulers or personages are known from myths or historical records: no equivalents of Rameses or Ptolemy, who were known to those studying hieroglyphs from records of ancient Egypt available in Greek. Therefore, even if combinations of Indic symbols appear repeatedly, we have no idea what the equivalent sound might be. It could be a ruler’s name, a stream’s name, really anything.
  3. there is, as yet, no Indus bilingual inscription comparable to the Rosetta Stone (written in Egyptian and Greek). The cracking the Mayan script started in 1876 using a Spanish manuscript from the 1500s that recorded a discussion in colonial Yucatan between a Spanish priest and a Yucatec Mayan-speaking elder about ancient Mayan writing, an equivalent find to the Rosetta Stone. It is conceivable that such a bilingual inscription may exist in Mesopotamia, given its trade links with the Indus civilization, but it has not yet been discovered.

Cicada 3301 is back: Mysterious, long-running Internet puzzle re-emerges after year of silence

Wanted: willing puzzle fans to help solve the internet’s most complicated and enduring mystery. Only those conversant in hexidecimal cryptology, medieval Welsh poetry and classical music theory – among many others – need apply.

After a 12 month hiatus, Cicada 3301 – a complex collection of anonymously-set puzzles, without apparent purpose, that have nevertheless held thousands of amateur web sleuths rapt – has made a reappearance.

And the Cicada’s re-emergence is exactly on schedule, too. The first set of puzzles, identified by images of the insect, appeared on Jan. 5, 2012. A message left anonymously on notorious website 4Chan simply read: “We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test…”

After a series of increasingly complex riddles – ranging from cyberpunk literature to voicemail messages to posters affixed to streetlights around the globe – the mysterious organization behind the tests went quiet. Only for another set of teasers to appear exactly one year later, on Jan. 4, 2013.

La Llorona, The Weeping Woman
A powerful spirit who is cursed for her actions as a human. Folklore tells the story of a woman who drowns her young boys, enraged at their father’s infidelity. She, stricken with grief, takes her own life by jumping into a river. During this blood moon, she is rescued by a pack of Chupacabras who were once werewolves, though they were corrupted their previous leader. She learns their ways and becomes their alpha leader. Saved, though not fully alive, her vengeful spirit is locked on Earth, looking for men that have committed adultery among other crimes against women, or boys who remind her of her sons. She often kidnaps them by weeping and yelling for help. Due to this she rivals the banshee, drawing men into death rather than warning them of it. Once captured, she decides if she should kill them for justice or turn them into Chupacabras to build her pack.

This image is to be used for the purpose of the #TWCreatureFeature challenge. Reblogging is appreciated, though the original artists credit should remain intact. Thank you

-Stefan Alexander Marin


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My headcanon of these two kitties (slightly edited for more info/more clarity from these three asks that I sent; the base I used can be found here):

Glunkus legitimately doesn’t realize that they’re creepy. They just want love. Their purr sounds like the dial-up sound, but their meow is actually a perfectly normal meow. Their attributes: glitchy appearance, enthusiastic personality, power level √-1. Their memento is a metal sculpture of a Calabi-Yau space (in all 6 extra dimensions!).

Hobo’s the evil one, but in a sort of lovably ineffectual way; think Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. Their attributes: filthy appearance, “evil” personality, power level -5. The quotation marks on “evil” are required. Their memento is a perfectly preserved dried flower crown.

Hobo actually befriended Glunkus as part of an “evil” plan, but soon actually made friends with them for real. 

Happy holidays, @suprememeep! Both of these cats are incredibly cute!


The PGP Word List (“Pretty Good Privacy word list”, also called a biometric word list) is a list of words for conveying data bytes in a clear unambiguous way via a voice channel. They are analogous in purpose to the NATO phonetic alphabet used by pilots, except a longer list of words is used, each word corresponding to one of the 256 unique numeric byte values.

Each byte in a bytestring is encoded as a single word. A sequence of bytes is rendered in network byte order, from left to right. For example, the leftmost (i.e. byte 0) is considered “even” and is encoded using the PGP Even Word table. The next byte to the right (i.e. byte 1) is considered “odd” and is encoded using the PGP Odd Word table. This process repeats until all bytes are encoded. Thus, “E582” produces “topmost Istanbul”, whereas “82E5” produces “miser travesty”.

A PGP public key fingerprint that displayed in hexadecimal as

    E582 94F2 E9A2 2748 6E8B
    061B 31CC 528F D7FA 3F19

would display in PGP Words (the “biometric” fingerprint) as

    topmost Istanbul Pluto vagabond
    treadmill Pacific brackish dictator
    goldfish Medusa afflict bravado
    chatter revolver Dupont midsummer
    stopwatch whimsical cowbell bottomless

The order of bytes in a bytestring depends on Endianness.


((OOC: The art part of Daffu’s art Collab with veraudunus ! Posting these up here because pokemon, and because I’ve been meaning to showcase these pokes up here. I won’t actually explain whom they are, because they might show up in canon in this blog at some point.

If you want to read the story that goes with these pictures, I’m going to drop off the link right here!  It was a whole lot of fun, and I still think you guys should join this group for awesome stories and art.

Answers to questions should come promptly now that work for the group is finished for the Daffu, haha XD; ))

Image: Queensland University of Technology

Cryptographers seek to protect today’s Internet from cyber-attacks decades away
Forget Terminators. Quantum computers in the future really could attack us in the past.


Tomorrow’s super-fast quantum computers present somewhat of a Catch 22. While they’ll be able to perform calculations and solve problems exponentially faster than today’s most advanced computers, they have the potential to use these powers for nefarious purposes in the future.

The key risk, according to an international team of researchers, is that these super-fast computers will be equally speedy when it comes to overriding security barriers, including decrypting the encryption mechanisms we use to protect today’s internet communications.

“Governments and the computing industry are working with scientists to try to build quantum computers. It’s a very significant scientific challenge, but quantum computers could be reality in a few decades,” one of the team, cryptographer Douglas Stebila from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australiasaid in a statement. “Quantum computers will be able to solve complex scientific problems, like simulating chemical reactions, much faster than today’s most powerful supercomputers, but they’ll also be able to break much of the public key cryptography that’s used to protect Internet, mobile telephone, and other electronic communication.”

But wait a second. If these quantum computers are still decades away, why are they a threat to us now? The answer, according to Stebila, is that our current defences won’t be adequate in the future. Quantum computers won’t be able to physically travel back in time to attack us, but if they can breach today’s online defences in the future, it’s the next best thing. All the data we have now could be at risk then.

“Though quantum computers don’t exist yet, they could be used to retroactively decrypt past transmissions,” said Stebila. “That’s why it’s important that we start updating our communication infrastructure.”

It sounds like science fiction, but it makes perfect sense. All of our data online today – including personal data, banking details, and government and information – isn’t just going to disappear tomorrow. Unless we specifically take it offline, it will remain stored somewhere, and if the encryption mechanisms protecting that data remain at the same level as they are today, tomorrow’s quantum computers will make child’s play of them.

Which is why Stebila and his colleagues are looking at how to future-proof today’s Internet so it’s not at risk tomorrow. The researchers have been working on ways to strengthen the Transport Layer Security protocol currently used to encrypt data transmissions and protect Web users.

“The TLS Internet encryption protocol uses a variety of mathematical techniques to protect information, some of which would need to be updated to be resistant to quantum computers,” said Stebila. “We’ve developed a new quantum-proof version of TLS that incorporates a mathematical technique called the ‘ring learning with errors problem’, a fairly recent technique that mathematicians think has the potential to resist quantum attacks.”

The technique is detailed in a paper published at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in San Jose, California, and the researchers have made their work available as open source code on GitHub in the hope that further research and development will move the software forward.

“The speed of the new protocol is now something we will work on, but this is a big step forward, demonstrating the practicality of these new techniques,” said Stebila. “We’re optimistic this will provide a framework for developing effective ways of future-proofing our data in the world of quantum computers.”

from ScienceAlert